Special Issue "Cancer Disparities Among Rural Minority Populations"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Global Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Whitney Zahnd
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Rural & Minority Health Research Center, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC, USA
Interests: cancer health disparities; rural health; access to care; spatial epidemiology; social epidemiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

While cancer incidence, mortality, and screening rates have improved over time, these improvements have not been experienced equally by all populations. In the United States, racial and ethnic minority populations living in rural areas, particularly non-Hispanic Black and Native American/Alaska Native populations, have a greater cancer burden than their urban and White counterparts and often have less access to cancer prevention and treatment services. Rural, racial/ethnic minority populations in countries throughout the world experience similar disparities. Continued research is needed to understand the fundamental causes, contextual factors, and individual characteristics that contribute to cancer disparities among racial/ethnic minority populations in rural areas. It is equally important to examine the feasibility and effectiveness of policy-based, clinical, and/or community interventions that aim to reduce disparities among rural, racial, and ethnic minorities. For this Special Issue of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, we invite research papers, reviews, case reports, methodological papers, brief reports, and commentaries that examine the dynamic of race/ethnicity and rural geography in disparities all along the cancer control continuum (including etiology, primary prevention, screening, treatment, and survivorship). Papers can be submitted from a wide range of disciplines including epidemiology, health services research, health policy, medical geography, health promotion and behaviour, and sociology. Research papers that employ quantitative and qualitative observational methods as well as intervention studies are welcome. International submissions are encouraged.

Dr. Whitney Zahnd
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • cancer health disparities
  • rural health
  • geographic disparities
  • racial/ethnic minorities
  • social determinants of health
  • cancer control continuum
  • access to care
  • racism
  • multilevel studies
  • interventions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Perceptions of Behavioral Awareness, Intention, and Readiness for Advance Care Planning: A Mixed-Method Study among Older Indigenous Patients with Late-Stage Cancers in Remote Areas of Eastern Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8665; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18168665 - 17 Aug 2021
Viewed by 438
Abstract
The first Patient Right to Autonomy Act enacted in Asia in 2019 has enabled every Taiwanese citizen to plan for his/her end-of-life (EOL) in case of incompetency. Advance care planning (ACP) has been highly promoted for individuals with terminal, life-threatening illnesses, particularly in [...] Read more.
The first Patient Right to Autonomy Act enacted in Asia in 2019 has enabled every Taiwanese citizen to plan for his/her end-of-life (EOL) in case of incompetency. Advance care planning (ACP) has been highly promoted for individuals with terminal, life-threatening illnesses, particularly in the mainstream society, and efforts have been made by the Taiwanese government to train health care providers in order to optimize patients’ quality of dying. However, such advanced decisions and discussions regarding life-sustaining treatment and EOL care remain scarce among older ethnically minority patients. A multiple-case study employing a mixed-method (n = 9) was undertaken to explore indigenous patients’ ACP perceptions. Both quantitative and qualitative information was obtained from indigenous patients, a minority group whose socio-economic and educational status are different from the general Taiwanese population. An initiative was made to describe ACP behavioral awareness, intention, and readiness of older terminal patients from four tribes with seven late-stage cancers in remote, mountainous areas of eastern Taiwan. Our findings showed that according to the Transtheoretical Model, terminal indigenous patients’ ACP readiness was at a precontemplation stage. Their lack of fundamental ACP awareness, insufficient healthcare resources, life-sustaining value in a Christian faith context, and the prevalent health disparity in the remote communities have negatively affected indigenous patients’ intention to participate in ACP. We provide suggestions to further promote ACP in this group and suggest that health information should be tailored at various readiness stages in order to overcome barriers and decrease ACP literacy discrepancies. This study calls attention to an understudied area of ACP behaviors, an overlooked need in EOL care for older cancer patients of unique cultural backgrounds, and the imperativeness to ensure cultural minority group’s EOL care is consistent with patients’ preferences. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Disparities Among Rural Minority Populations)

Review

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Review
The Intersection of Rural Residence and Minority Race/Ethnicity in Cancer Disparities in the United States
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1384; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041384 - 03 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2433
Abstract
One in every twenty-five persons in America is a racial/ethnic minority who lives in a rural area. Our objective was to summarize how racism and, subsequently, the social determinants of health disproportionately affect rural racial/ethnic minority populations, provide a review of the cancer [...] Read more.
One in every twenty-five persons in America is a racial/ethnic minority who lives in a rural area. Our objective was to summarize how racism and, subsequently, the social determinants of health disproportionately affect rural racial/ethnic minority populations, provide a review of the cancer disparities experienced by rural racial/ethnic minority groups, and recommend policy, research, and intervention approaches to reduce these disparities. We found that rural Black and American Indian/Alaska Native populations experience greater poverty and lack of access to care, which expose them to greater risk of developing cancer and experiencing poorer cancer outcomes in treatment and ultimately survival. There is a critical need for additional research to understand the disparities experienced by all rural racial/ethnic minority populations. We propose that policies aim to increase access to care and healthcare resources for these communities. Further, that observational and interventional research should more effectively address the intersections of rurality and race/ethnicity through reduced structural and interpersonal biases in cancer care, increased data access, more research on newer cancer screening and treatment modalities, and continued intervention and implementation research to understand how evidence-based practices can most effectively reduce disparities among these populations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Disparities Among Rural Minority Populations)
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Other

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Perspective
Challenges to Bringing Personalized Medicine to a Low-Resource Setting in Peru
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 1470; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18041470 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 873
Abstract
We provide an overview of the challenges that low-resource setting cities are facing, including a lack of global implementation of cancer screening programs, accurate data and statistics that may aid the health authorities and guide future public health activities, as well as reorient [...] Read more.
We provide an overview of the challenges that low-resource setting cities are facing, including a lack of global implementation of cancer screening programs, accurate data and statistics that may aid the health authorities and guide future public health activities, as well as reorient strategies, interventions and budgets to promote lifestyles that help prevent disease. Current cancer care does not fully reflect ethnic, cultural, environmental and resource differences. Herein, we described a snapshot of the cancer mortality and morbidity from a hospital that cares a rural and low-income population from Peru, called Chimbote (316,966 inhabitants) and showed the limitation of access to oncological care and genetic services. The city is located in the region of Ancash, which is a department of Northern Peru. Of note, we identified a greater proportion of cancer cases than previously described, with a young age of onset and differential profile of the most frequent cancers. With the emergence of increasingly effective interventions, it becomes paramount that populations living in resource-limited settings have access to cancer services and participate in genetics and genomic research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cancer Disparities Among Rural Minority Populations)
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